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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Slightly Guilded

Since we've raised the hurrumph level on game reviews, I gotta say that I found Tom's review of Guild Wars to be pretty awful. Despite giving it a 9.0, he seems to spend almost the entire review complaining about the game, and it really seems like he's just comparing it to all the other MMO's he's played (which I guess is a lot):

Then there's the matter of having only 8 slots in which to put your chosen spells. Compared to, oh, World of Warcraft, this is a joke. Considering that your character will have up to one hundred and fifty spells by the time he or she reaches Level 20 (the current cap), giving us only eight slots is either torture or genius--I haven't decided which.

Problem here is that ... not all of us have played quite as many MMO's as Tom has and so we're left having no idea what the heck he's really talking about. Personally, I want to know what there is to like in the game, but Tom can't seem to muster that without complaining still:

So there are a lot of things to like about Guild Wars, but it's not quite the complete package. It excises tedious travel, but the pursuant joy is hampered by getting bogged down fighting low-level monsters sometimes. Combat is much more satisfying than elsewhere, but I feel like I need one or two more slots for my spells. There's always at least one spell you need but will only (hopefully) use sparingly, like Resurrection. The compass map is quite handy because you can scribble on it, but it doesn't display the names of your party members when you mouse over their dots. A monk also can't resurrect or heal another player's pet.

See what I mean? He can't say anything nice without following it up with something to bitch about. He spends much of the review bitching about this game that he apparently really, really liked. It's like he's got guilt from being away from WoW or something.

I think reviewers should express their opinions in reviews, but I think they should try to be clear and concise about it. Readers aren't really interested in the reviewer's overall experience, they want to know the guts about what the game is like. Here I'm left with a game that's supposed to be really good, but I honestly couldn't tell you why from the review.

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